Cybersecurity

August 19, 2019
By Robert K. Ackerman
Sailors stand watch in the Fleet Operations Center at the headquarters of U.S. Fleet Cyber Command/U.S. 10th Fleet. The Navy has created a new special assistant position to coordinate service cyber efforts ranging from strategy to security. (Photo Credit: U.S. Navy Photo)

The U.S. Navy is creating a new position emphasizing a cultural and operational change in cybersecurity to deal with increasing online threats that have already plagued the service and its contractors. The new position, special assistant to the secretary of the Navy for information management, will be established and filled in the next couple of weeks with a cyber expert from private industry, says Undersecretary of the Navy Thomas Modly.

August 8, 2019
 

RTL Networks Inc.,* Denver, Colorado, is awarded a $14,399,532 cost-plus-fixed-fee, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract to provide services in the areas of cooperative cyber risk assessments and cyber table tops of fighter/attack (fixed and rotary wing) and surveillance aircraft or similarly complex aircraft, tactical unmanned aerial vehicles, GPS guided weapons or similarly complex weapons, training simulators, Portable Electronic Maintenance Aids equipment, software and development environments, and associated communications and networks. Work will be performed in China Lake, California (50%); Placentia, California (48%); and Denver (2%), and is expected to be completed in August 2024. No funds will be obligated at the tim

June 20, 2019
 

Data Intelligence LLC,* Marlton, New Jersey, is awarded a $12,584,840 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, cost-plus-fixed-fee contract to provide cybersecurity and security engineering-related services to the Department of Defense, National Guard Bureau and Department of Homeland Security. This two-year contract includes one, three-year option period which, if exercised, would bring the potential value of this contract to an estimated $31,832,280. Work will be performed in Marlton, New Jersey (25%) and in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (75%), and work is expected to be completed June 18, 2021. If the option is exercised, work will continue through June 18, 2024. No funds will be obligated at the time of award.

May 31, 2109
By Maryann Lawlor
Artificial intelligence and machine learning are still technically in their infancy. Both show promise in the military and government arenas, but experts still have many questions.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques could help information and network defenders recognize patterns of potential attackers so their next moves can be proactively blocked. In addition, cyber tools enhanced with these capabilities could provide a much more detailed picture of the cyber battlefield and increase the potential of success in a cyber campaign. This knowledge would complement the kinetic battlefield and could permit war planners to choose the appropriate mix of cyber and kinetic operations.

May 23, 2019
 

Sentar Inc.,* Huntsville, Alabama, was awarded a $10,426,896 hybrid (cost-no-fee and firm-fixed-price) contract for cyber security and information management support services. Twenty five bids were solicited with six bids received. Work will be performed in Huntsville, Alabama, with an estimated completion date of November 30, 2024. Fiscal year 2019 operations and maintenance, Army and Army working capital funds in the amount of $1,683,982 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, is the contracting activity (W31P4Q-19-F-0323). *Small Business

May 22, 2019
By Julianne Simpson
David Sanger, national security correspondent for The New York Times, discusses cyber at the AFCEA-GMU C4I and Cyber Center Symposium.

Cyber is fundamentally changing the national security landscape. David Sanger, national security correspondent for The New York Times and author of The Perfect Weapon, used his keynote address on day two of the AFCEA-GMU C4I and Cyber Center Symposium not to explain what is happening, but why this is happening.

To illustrate the new age of weaponizing information, Sanger described the differences between Watergate and the hack of the DNC in December 2016. The Russians didn’t have to do anything the Watergate hackers did.

May 14, 2019
Kimberly Underwood
Lawmakers have created a new organization, the Cyberspace Solarium Commission, to tackle a national cybersecurity policy.

Legislators on Capitol Hill have formed the Cyberspace Solarium Commission, known as the CSC, which will put together a comprehensive U.S. cyber policy. Sen. Angus King (I-Maine), who is co-chairing the new organization with Rep. Michael Gallagher (R-Wisc.), announced the formation of the Geneva Convention-type commission in a call with reporters on May 13. The establishment of the commission was outlined in last year’s National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), Sen. King said.

May 1, 2019
By Julianne Simpson
Mr.B-king/Shutterstock

The cybersecurity workforce gap is real, and it’s growing. Based on a state-by-state analysis on CompTIA’s cyberstates.org, there are currently 320,000 open cyber jobs in the United States. By 2022, the projected shortage of cybersecurity professionals worldwide will reach 1.8 million, according to the Center for Cyber Safety and Education.

May 1, 2019
By Howard R. Bandler
While preparing for a command cyber readiness inspection (CCRI), Staff Sgt. Jerome Duhan, USAF, a network administrator with the 97th Communications Squadron, inserts a hard drive into the network control center retina server at Altus Air Force Base, Oklahoma. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Franklin R. Ramos, USAF

Thirty years after the Morris Worm, networks face a long and growing list of potential attack vectors employed by an almost limitless number of threat sources, including criminals, hacktivists and nation-state actors. In response to threats, the U.S. Defense Department has taken prudent measures to shore up vulnerable systems and networks. In accordance with the well-established practice of concentric rings of security, the most sensitive department data exists on its most secure and isolated networks.

April 24, 2019
By Robert K. Ackerman
Suzette Kent, federal chief information officer, Office of Management and Budget, describes the information security thrusts the federal government will undertake during her keynote address at the AFCEA Homeland Security Conference in Washington.

The federal government is moving forward with coordinated efforts to improve its information system security before year’s end. Both growing threats and potential advantages are compelling these concurrent thrusts.

Suzette Kent, federal chief information officer, Office of Management and Budget, described these efforts during the Wednesday keynote address at the AFCEA Homeland Security Conference in Washington, D.C. Personnel, methodology and technology all are playing a role in these diverse actions, which aim to help secure government data and access to it.

April 8, 2019
By Maryann Lawlor
The Ghidra tool suite examines compiled code using disassembly, decompilation and graphing.

The National Security Agency is now sharing the source code of Ghidra, its reverse engineering tool developed by the agency’s Research Directorate in support of its cybersecurity mission. Ghidra, a suite of software analysis tools, examines complied code using capabilities such as disassembly, assembly, decompilation, graphing and scripting.

Ghidra helps analyze malicious code and malware and improves cybersecurity professionals’ understanding of potential vulnerabilities in their networks and systems. With this release, developers can now collaborate, create patches and extend the tool to fit their cybersecurity needs.

April 1, 2019
By Maryann Lawlor
System and information security can be measured in a number of ways, including how it affects the bottom line. Credit: Shutterstock

Senior executives are increasingly interested in objective measurements to determine the robustness of their organizations’ cybersecurity protections. However, measuring the adequacy of network and data security can be likened to verifying the amount of air in a room: A formula can ascertain how much air the room contains in theory, but does it take into account the leaky windows?

April 1, 2019
By Kimberly Underwood
Given that one of the water sector’s challenges in protecting infrastructure from cyber attacks is cost, research is needed into affordable security measures for control systems. Credit: Daniel Jedzura/Shutterstock

The water and wastewater treatment industry is facing cybersecurity threats. The risks affect the sector disproportionately compared to other utilities, given local-level water processing operations.

Along with physically securing its critical infrastructure, the water industry has to leverage available tools to protect against cyber attacks, an expert says.

April 1, 2019
By Donara Barojan
While U.S. officials have focused on how Russia’s use of social media may have interfered with the 2016 presidential elections, Iran has been quietly using the platforms to forge a battle of its own. Credit: Milosz Maslanka/Shutterstock.com

Russia may have popularized the manipulation of social media to further its own agenda, but it was not the first country to do so, nor will it be the last. A number of other countries are engaging in similar tactics, but so far have flown largely under the radar. The Oxford Internet Institute found that at least 28 countries worldwide are exploiting social media to influence the public opinion of their own or foreign populations.

April 1, 2019
By Cathy Hall
By employing the Zero Trust concept, organizations benefit from a stronger security posture, including decreased reputational risk with their customers and partners. Credit: JNE Valokuvaus/Shutterstock

In today’s environment, the network no longer can be considered a safe zone. Every asset an organization possesses and every transaction it conducts must be secured as if it were a standalone item continually exposed to the full range of cyber threats. The realization that perimeter protection alone is not sufficient has led to the security concept of Zero Trust. In this never-trust/always-verify approach, all entities and transactions rely on multiple solutions to work together and secure digital assets.

April 1, 2019
By Kimberly Underwood
Maj. Gen. Wolfgang Renner (l), GEAF, commander, NATO CIS Group and deputy chief of staff cyberspace, SHAPE, and Col. Donald Lewis, USAF, deputy director, NATO CyOC, discuss the establishment of the alliance’s cyber operations at the CyCon U.S. conference in November 2018.

NATO’s longtime motto says that an attack on one NATO member is considered an attack on all the alliance. Today, this creed also applies to cyberspace, alliance leaders indicate. NATO’s new Cyberspace Operations Center, formed in August 2018, takes up the mantle of defending the alliance in the digital realm.

March 1, 2019
By Henry S. Kenyon
A U.S. Navy Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) proof-of-concept project is using blockchain technology to manage the life cycle for new and spare parts supporting the service’s F-18 fighter jets.  Photo courtesy of Boeing

A prototype U.S. Navy program is turning to blockchain technology to help track aviation parts throughout their life cycles. The approach automates what is now a mostly manual process and provides aircraft maintenance personnel with accurate, detailed information about each part’s origins and order/reorder status.

February 27, 2019
By Kimberly Underwood
Congress is keeping an eye on the Defense Department’s information technology efforts. Credit:Shutterstock/Tono Balaguer

The U.S. House of Representatives is examining the status of the Defense Department’s information technology, modernization efforts and strategic direction. The House Armed Forces Committee’s Subcommittee on Intelligence and Emerging Threats and Capabilities, led by ranking member Rep. James Langevin (D-R.I.), held a hearing on February 26, with top DOD IT leaders testifying.   

February 1, 2019
By Shaun Waterman

The major challenges faced by federal agencies and DoD components in managing their cybersecurity and other risks include personnel shortages, daunting compliance requirements and the need for consistent data reporting and management across multiple elements of a diverse and geographically dispersed enterprise.

The RSA Archer Suite helps by automating the drudge work, providing context for incident reports, and other data flows and ensuring a common taxonomy, workflow and metrics across the enterprise. RSA Archer leaves human security personnel free to look at the bigger picture—and make decisions based on real-time, accurate information, intuitively displayed.

January 28, 2019
By Dave Mihelcic
When it comes to IT modernization, agencies often set their sights on adopting next-generation technology, but cybersecurity must be a priority. Credit: PIRO4D/Pixabay

More than a year has passed since the Modernizing Government Technology (MGT) Act was signed into law, cementing the establishment of a capital fund for agencies to support their special IT projects. The MGT Act prompted defense and intelligence agencies to accelerate the replacement of legacy systems with innovative and automated technologies, especially as they explore new ways to mitigate security risks like those experienced all too often by their private sector counterparts.

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